5 Presidential Portraits | Paintings to Inspire

In honor of President’s Day (Monday, February 20, 2017), I’d like to share with you a few portrait paintings of U.S. presidents. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve also included a quote from each featured president. If I missed one of your favorite presidents or presidential quotes, share it with me in the comments section below. My hope is that you can apply some of the chosen quotes to your artistic endeavors, as well as be inspired by these historic works. ~Cherie

Presidential portraits | George Washington

George Washington (image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

1. George Washington, 1st U.S. President, 1789-1797
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Featured painting above ca. 1779–81, oil on canvas, 95×61.75, by Charles Willson Peale (American, Chester, Maryland 1741–1827 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Gift of Collis P. Huntington, 1897

 

Presidential portraits | James Monroe

James Monroe, (image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

2. James Monroe, 5th U.S. President, 1817-1825
“Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty!”
Featured painting above ca. 1820–22, oil on canvas, 40.25×32, by Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts), Bequest of Seth Low, 1916

 

Presidential portraits | John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

3. John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. President, 1825-1829
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Featured painting above 1858, oil on canvas, 62×47, by George Peter Alexander Healy (1818–1894)

Portrait painting of General Andrew Jackson

General Andrew Jackson, prior to becoming a U.S. President; image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

4. Andrew Jackson, 7th U.S. President, 1829–1837
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
Featured painting above ca. 1819, oil on canvas, 48.5×36, by John Wesley Jarvis (American [born England], South Shield 1780–1840 New York); Credit: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1964

Presidential portraits | Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

5. Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President, 1901-1909
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
Featured painting above 1903, oil on canvas, 58.1×40, by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925); Credit: The White House Historical Association (White House Collection)

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